The National Emergency Authority and Jerusalem municipality held a drill yesterday which simulated the absorption by relevant city authorities of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to the city because of war. The drill also simulated emergency responses to missile strikes and terrorist attacks.
Yesterday's exercise was designed to test the emergency response capabilities of the city and the rescue services. A siren sounded at 10 A.M. and all school students, including in East Jerusalem, practiced going into bomb shelters. A number of areas in the city simulated the fall of missiles and terrorists attacks, but most of the efforts focused on scenarios where Jerusalem is on the periphery of war, and not the main target of missile attacks.
As such, the National Emergency Authority and the Home Front Command estimate that in a future war thousands will flee the center of the country to Jerusalem, to escape volleys of hundreds of missiles fired by Syria and Hezbollah.
Anticipating such an eventuality, the National Emergency Authority and the municipalities of Jerusalem, Ma'aleh Adumim and the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council have prepared plans for absorbing tens of thousands of evacuated families, depending on family size and socio-religious background.
"On the basis of previous experience we estimate that Jerusalem will receive refugees from the areas of fighting in the north and the south, and vulnerable areas in the Dan region, and we are preparing to absorb them among families and in clinics, and areas where they can acquire basic supplies, and also prepare to meet the needs of people with special needs," said Meron Keren, the National Emergency Authority's Jerusalem District head, who conducted the exercise.
Another emergency situation simulated yesterday involved a scenario that has not been seen since the War of Independence: damage to the city's water supply. Emergency distribution of bottled water was set up in cooperation with supermarkets, and deliveries to the elderly and handicapped was made possible though child volunteers.
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